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Miss Ella Michaela Al-Khalil Coyle

Member of the Durham Law School


Ella is a full-time student working towards her Master of Jurisprudence (MJur) at Durham Law School, from which she also graduated with her LLB in 2021. Beyond academic study, Ella is an editor for the creative writing section of Durham’s award-winning newspaper Palatinate. She is also an avid member of Durham Student Theatre and has spent the last academic year working for the non-profit theatre company Ooook! Productions. Ooook! raised a record amount for charity this year and were awarded the full Palatinate award for best outreach. Ella was also personally nominated for four Durham Student Theatre awards, or ‘D’Oscars’, for her writing, directing, acting and fight choreography, winning in the fight choreography category. In addition, Ella wrote and directed the first stage adaptation of the sitcom ‘Miranda’ which won the D’Oscar for best outreach and best show. 

Current Research

Ella is fascinated with the potential of law and literature, particularly on how the permeation of jurisprudential concepts in popular culture can provoke reflection on accepted practices. Her research is focused around examining the metaphor of Lady Justice, arguing that it is an ineffective and problematic symbol. Her analysis of the metaphor in art and literature uncovers a pattern of political commentary exploiting the femininity of Lady Justice to critique the operation of law. Using Rachel Fraser’s framework for metaphor comprehension, Ella argues the metaphor itself constitutes a harm as the assumptions it relies upon extend and sustain conditions of hermeneutical injustice.